Finally, Ted Forbes from The Art of Photography Youtube channel has brought back photo assignments after what has seemed like a long hiatus and the first one is a doozy. These photo assignments presented to us are a real challenge as they inadvertently challenge you which improves your photography by forcing you to think before hitting the shutter, which results in you having to experiment and make mistakes. Something us Humans do very well is learn by our mistakes.
The assignment presented by Ted is the Holga style and the rules are simple
No auto focus, disable it on your DSLR
No use of your viewfinder/screen
ISO 100 or ISO 400
Shutter Speed 1/60th
It wasn’t until the images from the day had been downloaded that I realised that I had completely forgot about rule 1, and the only reason is that morning I got off a 22 hour flight from Australia and my mind was pretty foggy as to what time it was and where I was. I still haven’t recovered from the jet lag!
The above image is from camera and all that has been done is to convert from RAW to JPEG. I will have to go back and shoot another image that meets the rules before its uploaded to Instagram.
The lesson here is not to be afraid of making mistakes or failing at it because we learn by those mistakes and you never know, you may just jag that shot. If you haven’t seen Ted’s channel, I highly recommend that you jump on over and check it out.
This is an image that has stuck with me for years and was taken by Elliot Erwitt in 1946 in New York City. If you don’t know who Elliot Erwitt is, I highly recommend this interview by his son, Misha which will add some context to this image and who he is. Elliot Erwit has an amazing body of work and dare I say is an inspiration to many people, including me who have picked up a camera over the years.
I love this photo because he has got down low, real low and he has managed to maintain the dogs eye contact while showing just how small the dog really is. For me, taking this photo takes skills and some incredible forethought. He has other photos of people with small dogs and some are photos that easily recognisable.
I have always wanted to use the theme of the photo as inspiration to see what I could create. As its been pretty hot in here in Australia lately (40+ Degrees Celsius) I figured the best spot would be the boardwalk at the beach to attempt to take my concept of the small dog theme. There should be plenty of people around and some should have their pets out for a walk in the mornings or late in the day.
I sat on the kerb of the footpath and watched this little dog with its humans to see what he would do. He kept looking back behind him and turned around completely while they waited for someone else to join them.
This little one, called Melluka, rides the train on the boardwalk and keeps his human train driver company.
I asked his humans if I could take a photo of their dog and they said that he wouldn’t come near me but he did exactly the opposite and walked straight up to me and let me take his photo. Maybe he was looking for a sniff, a lick or maybe some food but he was pretty happy that he was out for a walk with his humans.
It was definitely worth getting out in the sweltering heat to photograph these dogs and their humans and I must admit that the British Bulldog photo is my favourite photo of the day.
What inspires you to get out and shoot ?
Please notethat I am unable to link Elliot Erwitt’s image or text to a specific website as I am unable to find one that has all of his work located however I am going to provide two links, both from the New York Times. This link is an interview with Elliot Erwitt and an Art Review. If someone finds an appropriate link please let me know in the comments as I will update these links.